Category Archives: Celebration Cakes

A Summer of Projects

I’ve been keeping busy this summer, working on all kinds of awesome projects. Per usual, there’s been a lot of baking, some great writing gigs, the occasional wedding cake (I played the dual role of bridesmaid and baker in the photo above – and my fantastic and patient husband supported as sous chef), and lots of studying for the Certified Exam with the Court of Master Sommeliers. I’ve enjoyed the consistency of my Pie of the Week column over at Serious Eats. After all, pie is the official dessert of summer. Check ‘em out!

Blueberry Crumble Pie

Mallomar Pie

Mini Sweet Cherry Pies

Chocolate Mud Pie

Strawberry Lattice Pie

Fresh Summer Berry Pie

Butterscotch Pudding Pie

Peanut Butter Pretzel Ice Cream Pie

Peach and Ginger Crumble Pie

Oreo Ice Cream Pie (made for Oreo’s 100th birthday celebration)

S’mores Pie

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Christmas Sweets

All photos by Lauren Weisenthal

Leading up to Christmas, I’ve been doing some new techniques posts over at Serious Eats. There are some slideshows to help folks through the process of making a classic French yule log cake, the Bouche de Noel.

My favorite part of this cake is, of course, the mushroom meringues. I love Maida Heatter’s recipe in her Book of Great Desserts.

Speaking of Christmas candy, I also had a lot of fun messing around with recipes for torrone, the Italian nougat candy. Watch for that recipe over on Serious Eats on Monday. Merry, Happy!

 

 

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Triple Chocolate Layer Cake

triple chocolate cake

I spend a lot of time mulling over the following question: If [insert friend's name here] were a cake, what kind of cake would [he/she] be?

triple chocolate cake from top

Those of us who enjoy baking celebration cakes understand the weighty significance of this question, with its myriad of factors to be weighed. Taste is an obvious one, our goal being to avoid flavors that exercise the recipient’s gag reflex and focus squarely on those that cause he or she to roll around and salivate like a dog.

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Marbled Lemon Blueberry Butter Cake Recipe



With all of my attention, love, and affection (for food, at least) directed at bread baking these days, it might seem that I’ve strayed from my first love, pastry.

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Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Instant Fudge Frosting & Chocolate Honey Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipes


 

Between the chaos of work trips, half-packed suitcases and endless hours of convention center banter, there was cake. Delicious, unapologetically rich, lavishly frosted cake.

Um, two cakes, actually.

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Black and White Park Avenue Cake Recipe

 

See that picture directly above? The one with the pretty black and white cake? I made that! Me!

 

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Carrot Cake Recipe

 

I’ve been so entertained all week, watching my friend Eva struggle to restrain herself from spilling the beans as she snuck around Brooklyn planning a suprise birthday party for her boyfriend Gabe. You could see the secret welling up inside her, ready to burst. She told me that by the time the day of the party came around, she restricted conversations to “Hi honey, I love you” for fear that she would let something slip. It was heartwarming and adorable.

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Devil’s Food White-out Cake Recipe

 

Last night a few of us gathered at our place for an extravagant, multi-course dinner cooked by Brian to ring in a new year that we can only hope holds as many good things for us as the one that has just passed. The meal had been built up for weeks and I felt a lot of pressure to deliver an amazing dessert to round it out in the wee morning hours, post ball drop. I thought about it for days and days, but the epiphany for which I was waiting never came. With just hours before our guests arrived, I decided to whip up a celebration cake, because hey, who doesn’t love cake? And celebrations? This one features a rich, yet light and delicious devil’s food cake (made with three types of chocolate!), sandwiched between big fluffy layers of the lightest marshmallow frosting you’ve ever tasted.

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